GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A caterer is accused of poisoning people at a dinner party with pot-infused brownies, and now the attendees are suing.
Plaintiffs say they had no idea the food was laced with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes a high.
It happened Nov. 15, 2022, at the Junior League building in Gainesville and was catered by Tim Broxton, owner of Easy B’s Market and Café.
“I ate two brownies,” Alma Simpson told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims.
She joined her co-workers at A Helping Hand Home Care for the dinner. When she got home, she said, she thought she was having a heart attack.
“I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t get my words out, my head was throbbing,” Simpson said.
Paramedics thought she was having a stroke, she said.
“I really thought I was dying. I was scared I wouldn’t see my grandkids grow,” Simpson said.
Simpson is one of 12 people named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Broxton and Easy B’s.
They say he served brownies made with THC.
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According to the lawsuit, nine of the 12 people who suffered symptoms went to the hospital, including Anslee Wilson, who owns A Helping Hand.
She said she suffered from a heightened heart rate and blood pressure.
“And then, all of a sudden, I see another one of my employees come in by ambulance, and I’m like what in the world?” Wilson said. “Then I see another one.”
She described the trauma one of her employees experienced.
“She was going in and out of consciousness and saying, ‘Tell my children goodbye,’” Wilson said.
The lawsuit said medical testing showed the victims had severe THC poisoning.
Ken Lewis, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said the brownies were meant for other customers.
“Somehow they mixed up the product they made for their pot customers, the pot brownie customers, with a catered event, and that’s just not acceptable,” Lewis said. “There are too many dangers.”
Gainesville police say they are investigating.
Mims went to Easy B’s Market to hear from Broxton, but he wasn’t there. He also spoke by phone with Broxton’s attorney, William Hollingsworth, who sent him this statement:
“Mr. Broxton and his company have fully cooperated with government authorities during this alleged incident,” he wrote. “GBI, state forensic testing and evidence shows conclusively that no unlawful substance was ever involved in this matter from Mr. Broxton’s Kitchen. To the extent that the Plaintiffs’ complaint makes spurious allegations that Mr. Broxton or his company committed any act intentionally, Mr. Broxton denies those allegations.
“The true facts will be shown by the evidence in this case.”
Simpson said she was so traumatized that she is now seeing a therapist.
“People laugh when you tell them that you got drugged with brownies,” Simpson said. “It’s not funny. It’s not funny at all.”
The plaintiffs are seeking payment for medical expenses, lost earnings and any other damages determined by a jury trial.
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